Louts hassle shop keepers, customers in Mall

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

An Alice Springs local says he is concerned about antisocial behaviour by juveniles in Todd Mall.

 

Chris Kneebone says on Friday, the Red Cross Shop “was being hassled by young kids. They tried to break into the till and spat at the lady.

 

“On Monday they hit a person at the Gem Cave. Tuesday, they harassed staff in Femme Fatale Beauty and today they broke windows at the Lolly Shop.”

 

Mr Kneebone provided a photo of youngsters alleged to have assaulted the lady in the Red Cross shop.

 

“Why can’t police do something to stop the crime? I am scared for my daughter who works there and would hate anything to happen to her. What can we do?” asked Mr Kneebone.

 

Tracy Bishop, the manager of the Red Cross store, says it had been targeted by the youngster four times in the past week. She had told the police, Ms Bishop says.

 

It appeared the kids were high on petrol, “huffing” and “totally aggressive”, one of them making stabbing motions.

 

Police had told her they had picked up the youngster but soon after they were back.

 

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie says rising levels of violence and antisocial behaviour in Alice Springs “shows the CLP Government’s failure to deal with the real issues in the community.

 

“To have shop owners attacked in the Mall and police say they are too busy to attend shows how Chief Minister Adam Giles’ failure to live up to his promises is hurting Alice Springs,” Ms Lawrie said.

 

“In January he said Alice Springs was ‘completely cleaned up’ and crime wasn’t an issue. Just a few months later we are hearing about youths running amok in the CBD, vandalising property, throwing rocks and assaulting workers.

 

“The CLP Government shut down services that were working to reduce youth-related crime and antisocial behaviour and now Alice Springs is paying the price for their short sighted decisions” says Ms Lawrie.

 

“We have seen funding cut from youth after hours services, forcing them to close. The Youth Street Outreach Service has been pulled, which was making a big difference in getting kids off the streets at night.

 

“Mr Giles closed down the Alice Springs Youth Hub that was a providing an important co-ordination point and place for young people in the CBD.

 

“He promised a police call centre for Alice Springs but backflipped on this very quickly. He promised extra police on the beat but all we have is police standing outside bottle shops because of the CLP Government’s failure to deal with alcohol related crime.”

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13 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Hal Duell
    Posted April 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Yup! Let’s sell everyone as much grog as they have money for. And then what? Too easy. Then we have young backpackers walking into town at night, or returning to their rooms after a night out, but only after forming up into groups able to deter any unwanted attention from local drunks who had earlier in the day exercised their right to buy and consume as much alcohol as they had money for.
    Good thinking!
    And before that, the same backpackers, or tourists in general and/or locals chancing an evening out or, perhaps, just attending a Council meeting, might decide to take a stroll through our Mall or chance a walk across Council lawns. There they might encounter loiterers drunk as drunk can be, arguing and fighting and pissing against the nearest wall after having earlier exercised their right to buy and consume as much alcohol as they had money for.
    Good thinking!
    Of course no one in their right mind would advocate anything as radical as actually being proactive when it comes to limiting the sale of grog. Much better to sell it to all to their ability to pay, and to then detail police and security patrols to mop up the inevitable mess.
    Good thinking!

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  2. Russell Guy
    Posted April 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    @ Steve Brown. Posted everywhere.com
    Pardon my arrogance, but what about the whitefellas who are addicted to grog or don’t they exist in your patronising mental contortions?
    And do we have to suffer your solution which appears to be “let everybody drink as much as they want when they want and when they can’t handle it, bring in the law, lock ’em up and throw away the key”? I hope not.
    We need leaders to forge solutions to the rivers of grog, who can turn down the tap, not raving people masquerading as social libertarians. LOL.

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  3. Steve Brown
    Posted April 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Alex and Hal: Your comments are unbelievably patronising and paternal to Aboriginal people. The main contributor to the Aboriginal misery and mayhem is not and never was alcohol! Alcohol abuse is merely a reaction against a human plight bought on by the the absolute paternal arrogance of some who believe that somehow in their own superiority they have the right to patronise other people’s lives, to make their life choices for them. What arrogance! If you want Aboriginal lives to improve respect their right to make their own life choices! And that includes the right to purchase and drink alcohol if they so choose.
    The consequences of that decision is also theirs to deal with, just as it is with yourself, should you choose to partake. Alex, your comment is straight out of the early 50s which is where it most definitely belongs. In the past.

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  4. Hal Duell
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Well said, Alex Nelson!

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  5. ian sharp
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Rose, without you being specific it is hard to know what you are referring to. To be fair, Parliaments are the ultimate conferrers of rights and makers of law, not courts. Courts cop a lot of flak because they determine individual cases, but Parliaments are ultimately where responsibility lies.

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  6. Rose
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    The courts are also to blame leaving responsible parents powerless and giving the youths too many rights!

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  7. Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Nothing has changed in half a century – we set ourselves up for this unending chronic problem from the time Aboriginal people were legally entitled to purchase, possess and consume alcohol from the passing of the Social Welfare Bill in 1964. There was full warning from many people across the country of the frightful implications of this “reform” legislation but nobody these days is willing to acknowledge the real root cause of this endless mayhem. Access to alcohol IS NOT a civil or human right, it’s a privilege – and if that privilege cannot be respected it should be removed. Once that happens, we’ll start to see real progress for these people.

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  8. Celia
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Well if parents aren’t functioning as parents the children should be removed and the “parents” should be neutered.

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  9. Karl Hampton
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 9:35 am

    It was Adam Giles and his government that stopped funding the Youth Hub and Youth Outreach Service, so I don’t know how you cannot say he has to take responsibility!
    There are four MLAs based in Alice Springs who are also in Cabinet making these decisions.
    The CLP also promised to return the callcentre and CCTV monitoring to Alice Springs but have failed to do this.
    When the CLP were in opposition they were quick to blame the Labor Government for the crime and young people on the street! At least Labor had a plan for the youth in Alice Springs (Alice Springs Youth Action Plan).
    It’s the CLP’s turn to take some responsibility as they are now in government, and not make excuses, or have they forgotten about Alice Springs now they have the big paying jobs and spend all their time in Darwin?

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  10. Melanie Ross
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I don’t think its a question of blame. As Emma says it’s a question of taking responsibility, parents / guardians AND our leaders who were voted in on promises to fix the problem.
    While parental responsibility is paramount, we have to recognise that many of these kids come from families where parents are not functioning as parents. Many of these kids are in care – which means the Minister is their legal guardian.
    In an ideal world of course parents would be taking responsibility for their kids. But the reality is that some parents don’t. We need to recognise this and make sure there are services in place to support families before kids go off the rails and end up committing crimes. We also need to ensure there are penalties in place for those who do the wrong thing.
    And guess who is responsible for doing all this – our elected leaders.

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  11. Celia
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

    @1: How about the parents of those children take responsibility for this. Not everything can be blamed on the Chief Minister and Government.

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  12. Emma Ringer
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I think the Chief Minister should be taking responsibility for this issue. It’s under his government that youth outreach and after hours services have been de-funded – these were services that were able to reach young people at risk who weren’t engaged by mainstream services.
    In 2013, funding was cut from NGO services including Congress and Tangentyere, with the NT government saying that it was because of duplication of services. Then earlier this year, the government announced they were de-funding YSOS – the patrol service that the NGO services were said to be replicating – as well closing the Youth Hub.
    It’s a no-win, especially for the young people who are falling through the cracks. It’s one thing to conduct surveillance and find the particular young people involved in these incidents (whose actions I am not condoning), but then what? Where do they get the support and help they need to deal with the issues that are contributing to this behaviour?
    I would love the Chief Minister to be straight up with our community about this.

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  13. Spot
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    This should not be a issue to be blaming the chief minister for, well not this one any way,
    The entire center of Alice springs has CCTV cameras. We should be asking why is this problem not resolved already? Wasn’t there a lot of money spent on this to fix exactly this antisocial issue?
    So who is responsible for this monitoring?
    Why has it not been accessed to find the trouble makers in the mall?
    Why are the Todd Mall traders feeling they are at risk of attack with this system in place?
    If it is not operational why not? Who is responsible?
    Why are pictures of the trouble makers not on this page instead of everyone blaming each other?

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